As the Quake2 community is approaching the 2011/2012 season, with its 10th edition of the EDL and the 16th of EuroQ2L, among numerous esteemed events and happenings, I call for us to stop for a minute and reflect on the current state of the scene.
To say that the Q2 scene is suffering is a grave understatement – as the vast majority of people most probably would agree with – and simply by stating the obvious, we are achieving nothing. If this hobby of ours, this game that we spend countless of hours playing, bears any significance to us, it might actually require our immediate attention and care. Quake2 is losing ground all the time, and it’s gradually facing extinction. That affects everyone, whether you’re a serious gamer or not.
Naturally one mustn’t forget that we’re talking about a game that is closing in on its 14th birthday, and players moving on to other newer games, is somewhat inevitable. I merely urge us to do what we can without breaking our backs, to if not fight, at least try to slow the evolution down. This is a game that deserves to survive for many years to come, and in my heart I believe that more than a handful of people would want to be able to return to servers in five or 10 years from now, if only to just catch a quick pickup game.
In very few instances during the past decade, have there been any prizes involved in Quake2 events. Players have kept themselves motivated through the sheer fun of the game, and by enjoying the prestige that various leagues and tournaments have been able to offer. However, for a while the level of prestige has been dropping at an unreasonable speed, along with people having taken the competitions with less and less earnestness. This has resulted in a severe undermining of the conditions of having fun and enjoying the events – for players and observers alike – and that is one of the ways that we are crippling the scene right now.
It’s difficult and even unnecessary to speculate about what came first, the chicken or the egg, but there is a point in calling attention to the fact that players are struggling to find a purpose for their engagements. It would be very hard for any enthusiast or admin to single-handedly infuse a meaning into the collective mind of the players, but surely a lot of measures can be made to make it easier to still have fun while competing in Q2, as well as making it a more rewarding experience to honour one’s commitments – may the reward be that of prestige or a prize.
The solution I propose is for the different enclaves of the scene to unite and work together towards developing Q2 into a more well-organized, legitimate and recognized e-sport, which in turn will render us an increasingly motivating and stimulating environment for anybody involved. We must aim to keep the community inspired, and strive to make the scene attractive for past and future players. Despite regeneration being the grand and ultimate goal, making any progress along the way is to be considered nothing short of a great success.
If we stand by and do nothing, if we keep everything the way it is, then we are sticking to a downward spiral that is seriously jeopardizing any kind of future for Quake2. Therein lies the necessity for immediate action – whether you’re a serious gamer or not.